The vitamin K is a nutrient present in green leafy vegetables such as broccoli or spinach. In addition, it is used to treat problems related to blood clotting.
It is one of the most important nutrients to guarantee the good health of the organism. It plays a very important role in blood clotting and bone maintenance.
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin , whose main function is linked to the maintenance of the blood clotting system. It is therefore responsible for preventing bleeding.
But this nutrient also has many other essential functions for the proper functioning of the body. It has a leading role in the metabolism of the bone system .
There are two types of vitamin K.
- K1: also called phylloquinone, it is a type of vitamin K that is found in a wide range of plant-based foods, such as chard, spinach, Brussels sprouts, etc. One of its main functions in the body is to regulate blood clotting, which is why it is very important to maintain adequate levels of vitamin K1.
- K2: better known as menaquinone, this vitamin is produced by bacteria present in the stomach. However, it can also be found in certain fermented foods such as tempeh. An essential nutrient as it strengthens the bone system and reduces the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
What is Vitamin K for?
There are many people, especially adults and the elderly, who for different medical reasons must take anticoagulants . This type of medication, as its name suggests, is used both to prevent blood clots and to treat those that have already formed.
Anticoagulants before consumption, it is important to reduce the consumption of foods rich in vitamin K . It is not about eliminating them from the diet, since the vast majority of them are rich in other essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the body, but it is about controlling the amount in which they are consumed.
The most important thing in these cases is that the consumption of foods with vitamin K is stable. In this way, the doctor can more easily adjust the medicine according to consumption.
Vitamin K plays a very important role in bone metabolism . The reason is that osteocalcin, a bone protein, needs vitamin K for its maturation. Some recent research has indicated that this nutrient is of great help to increase the density of the bones, thus minimizing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially in older people.
Foods with vitamin K
There are foods that stand out especially for their high content of vitamin K.
- Brussels sprouts : Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C , potassium , manganese, and iron, among other nutrients. As for vitamin K, a cup of Brussels sprouts provides 45% of the recommended daily amount of this nutrient.
- Broccoli: broccoli is a food that, if consumed regularly, helps to take care of the health of the nervous system . It provides zinc, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K. Just half a cup of broccoli provides more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin K.
- Spinach: Spinach is one of the types of green leafy vegetables. They can be consumed both raw and cooked. They provide a large amount of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K. They are also rich in antioxidants, thus preventing premature aging of both skin and cells.
- Kale: Kale is a very nutritious food, high in vitamins A and C, as well as iron and calcium. As for vitamin K, a cup of kale provides 700% of the total recommended daily dose.
- Celery: celery is one of the most consumed vegetables globally. Its consumption provides approximately 15% of the recommended daily amount for an adult. In addition, it is a food very rich in essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the body such as antioxidants, calcium and potassium. Another point in favor of celery is that its caloric intake is minimal.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are one of the healthiest foods out there. One cup of blueberries provides about 36% of the recommended daily value. They can be consumed in different ways, such as accompanying a yogurt or a salad, for example.
Vitamin K deficiency
The vitamin K deficiency can occur in both adults and children.
In the case of adults, it is a rare disorder since this nutrient is present in a wide range of foods that are consumed frequently. In addition, the presence of vitamin K2 synthesized by intestinal bacteria and the reserve of vitamin K that exists in the liver prevent a deficiency of this nutrient. People susceptible to deficiency are those who are taking certain medications, such as anticoagulants or antibiotics, as well as those who suffer from a disease that somehow alters fat absorption: biliary obstruction, celiac disease , ulcerative colitis, chronic pancreatitis, etc.
Vitamin K deficiency is much more likely to occur in newborn babies , especially if they are premature. Breast milk is very low in this nutrient. To this must be added that the intestines of newborns still do not synthesize vitamin K2. This disorder is also known as hemorrhagic disease of the newborn and occurs during the first five days of life. The most common symptoms are the presence of blood in the stool and around the umbilical cord.
In a healthy eating plan, with an adequate consumption of vegetables and fruits, it does not have to be a vitamin K deficiency. The vast majority of plant-based foods are rich in this nutrient, so this disorder is not too frequent .
However, vitamin K deficiency can occur in those who follow a treatment based on antibiotics . The reason is that they eliminate a large part of healthy bacteria present in the body, thus preventing them from producing vitamin K correctly. That is why before the consumption of antibiotics the intestinal flora is protected with both probiotic and prebiotic foods.
The vitamin K deficiency is relatively common in newborns. When they are born, their intestinal flora is completely free of microorganisms, so they do not have the synthesis process of this nutrient.
The problems due to lack of vitamin K occur when the signs of this deficiency begin to appear. Almost 100% of people notice that bruises appear on any part of their body much more easily; the slightest blow is enough to make bruises appear.
Another common symptom is bleeding . In the vast majority of cases they are given through the nose, although sometimes the presence of blood in the stool can also be observed. For women, periods can be much heavier than normal.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.